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It’s that time of year again, where you are planning your New Year’s Eve parties and events. Before you know it the New Year will be upon us, but the last thing you want to start the New Year with is a drinking and driving criminal offence. No matter where you live in Ontario, including Ottawa and Toronto, the police have once again implemented the Holiday Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere (RIDE) program.

Typically, the Holiday RIDE program runs through the first week of January, so it may not necessary end on January 1st. This program is where police agencies all throughout Ontario set up check points, where motorists must pass through. These are changed and moved on a regular basis. When you pass through a checkpoint the policy will make a general inquiry as to whether you have been drinking.

If the police suspect you have been drinking, even if you answer know, they will ask you to provide a breath sample and blow into an approved screening device. This device is normally calibrated to check for 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. However, that is not always a guarantee, and the device could be calibrated lower to check for impairment, too. In addition, if they smell alcohol within the vehicle or on the person, they will require you to provide a breath sample on the spot.

What Happens After Police Demand a Breath Sample?

When asked to provide a breath sample, there are only four different outcomes possible, as follows:

  • • Your Sample Is in the “Warn Range”
  • Your sample is in, what the police call, the “Warn Range.” This is where there is between 50 and 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood and is considered impaired driving. The police will immediately suspend your license and issue a $150 ticket. Depending on whether this is your first offence or subsequent offence, the license suspension ranges from 3 day up to 30 days.

    Further, there are additional penalties for subsequent offences, not to mention increases to your insurance rates. Those, who are charged with a “Warn Range” driving offence are not charged with a criminal DUI driving offence. Rather, these offences are Provincial offences and are recorded on your driving record, but not your criminal record.

  • • Your Sample Is “Over 80”
  • Driving Over 80 is a criminal offence. Your vehicle will be immediately impounded for 7 days and you will receive a 90 day license suspension. You will be taken to the local police station and be required to provide two additional samples. If both samples show you have over 80 milligram of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood, you are charged and arrested.

    If you are found guilty of the criminal charges, you will pay a minimum $1,000 fine. Depending on whether this is your first or subsequent offence, your license can be suspend for a longer period of time. You could also face varying periods of imprisonment, as well as other penalties and specific conditions for getting your license reinstated.

  • • You Refuse to Provide a Sample
  • Your vehicle will be impounded and you will be arrested and charged with the criminal offence “Refusal to Provide a Sample.” This offence carries with it the same penalties as impaired driving and driving over 80, if you are found guilty.

  • • You Blow Under 50 Milligrams of Alcohol
  • You pass the test and are allowed to go on your way. The police will normally remind you of some of the consequences of failing the RIDE Program roadside tests.

    Being charged with a drinking and driving Provincial or criminal offence is not worth the risks. It is much better to drink responsibility while celebrating New Year’s Eve.

    However, if you, a friend, or loved one is stopped and charged with a drinking and driving criminal offence, you need to contact a criminal defence lawyer in Ottawa, Toronto, or elsewhere in Ontario, if you want the best results possible. For assistance with finding the best advocacy for drinking and driving criminal offences, contact Dynamic Legal Solutions today by phoning 888-989-3946.

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